Ken Wagstaff is a 50-year resident of Davis. He was a member of the Davis City Council from June 20, 1998 to April 20, 2002. He served as Mayor Pro Tem from 1998 to 2000 and Mayor from 2000 to 2002. Under his leadership, the Council adopted a sweeping new General Plan to preserve the small-town character of the city, pushed to complete several projects including the new police station, the bike crossings over and under Interstate 80, the development of Arroyo Park, and approved the design of the Oakshade Shopping Center in South Davis. His City Council also conceived and successfully placed Measures J and O before the voters. Measure J enacted the City's procedure for voter approval of any new urban development outside the current City limits. Measure O inaugurated the City's Open Space Acquisition program, which Wagstaff advocated to preserve agricultural lands and undeveloped space adjacent to the city or in its immediate environs. As Mayor, Wagstaff also enhanced the annual celebrations of Martin Luther King's and Cesar Chavez' birthdays, assuring that these events would remain a permanent part of the City events calendar.
Wagstaff is a retired health policymaker and program executive, having served the State of California for 34 years. He was a Department of Finance budget executive from 1966-71, Health Policy Consultant to the State Assembly from 1971-77, Deputy Secretary of the Health and Welfare Agency from 1977-81, Director of the State Department of Mental Health from 1981-83 and Director of the Board of Medical Quality Assurance from 1983-92. He then managed key aspects of the conversion of the State Medi-Cal program into a managed care system until his retirement in 2000.
Wagstaff is currently on the Board of Citizens Who Care, Yolo County's volunteer service agency supporting families caring for their frail elderly. He served as executive director of the organization from 2005-2010.
Wagstaff is also on the Board of the Yolo County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.
Wagstaff has long been active in Davis politics. He assisted the successful City Council election campaigns of Tom Tomasi (1972) and Julie Partansky (1996). In 1995-96 he served on the citizens committee appointed by the City Council to revamp the City General Plan. He then worked on the 1997 referendum to stop the City from expanding the Richards Blvd. underpass into a four-lane tunnel, which would have clogged traffic at First Street. (Later, as Mayor, he successfully advocated for an alternative design to relieve traffic in the underpass— a new turning lane allowing traffic entering the downtown to choose a right turn exit to First Street.)
Wagstaff was on the coordination committee for No on Measure X, which in 2005 defeated the Covell Village proposal to construct 2,000 new residential units at Pole Line Road and Covell Blvd. In 2012 Wagstaff was assistant manager of the successful City Council campaign of Brett Lee. In October 2013 he assisted in launching the 2014 City Council campaign of Robb Davis.